Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TV Premiere/Pilot Reviews (1)

I’ve decided to review the premieres for my returning favourites and the pilots for the new shows I plan to watch this season (Not New Series, just shows I haven’t watched yet…all the new shows this year look/sound terrible imo). Let’s start with the double H’s!

Heroes-Volume 5 Redemption
It’s hard to say that I continue to watch Heroes for anything more than the brilliance of Zachary Quinto’s performance as the sinister serial killer Sylar and the moments where the series seems to be returning to its former season 1 glory. Last year “Volume 4: Fugitives” actually really got me excited for the show again, but the ending left me with mixed feelings of disappointment and the excitement faded away. For whatever reason, perhaps my inability to give up things easily, curiosity got the best of me when it came to watching the premiere for the show’s fourth season…and let me say, it wasn’t bad. That’s not to say there was anything particularly great or must see about it, but the new storylines and characters were introduced without feeling forced and with the exception of Claire’s little experiment at the end, no one made any stupid choices that had foreseeable negative outcomes. It’s more that there was nothing bad about the premiere than there being anything one should go out of their way to see.

The performances for the most part…were the same. No one really did anything all that different aside from Adrian Pasdar as Sylar/Nathan, Milo Ventimiglia as Peter Petrelli, Zachary Quinto as Sylar, and Greg Grunberg as Matt Parkman. Pasdar was convincing as the confused and almost reborn Nathan while Ventimiglia was a joy to watch as a more confident and mature Peter than we’ve ever seen. Quinto continues to play evil well as Sylar in a very fight-club-esque new role for the character and his chemistry with Grunberg allowed the two actors to play an interesting dynamic for the series.

I would complain that Claire’s roommate was rather annoying but that was somewhat the idea behind the character. Hiro and Ando continue to provide comic relief but it sadly isn’t as funny was it was in the show’s freshman year. That said its still fun seeing Masi Oka and James Kyson Lee work together and they still have that great duo chemistry. The writing and pacing was a little off with several characters vanishing for long periods of time, but overall Heroes starts off the season…not bad, but nothing spectacular. The story is interesting enough to keep me watching for now.

House M.D
House is without a doubt one the best series’ to hit television. Hugh Laurie’s performance is one for the books and the writing continues to be top notch, surprising given that the show is relatively formulaic. Then again, House was always about the interactions between the characters and how they respond to a certain case for me, not the actual case itself. Last season ended on a high and surprising twist that made the summer wait a long one for House’s return!

When the episode opened with a very film feel to it, with the credits style and lack of all but two of the series regulars being billed, I knew this was going to be a unique one. There’s no medical mystery to solve, the only other main character to appear (briefly) was Wilson (Sean Robert Leonard), and it was of course, two hours long.

This is one of the best episodes of anything I’ve ever seen to be fair. Aside from the film-like feel to it, the acting was top notch. Hugh Laurie delivers some of his best work as everyone’s favourite doctor but this time he has new emotions to explore, given that the episode focused on House’s doctor trying to get him to connect with people emotionally. House is known for being an anti-social grump so seeing him a new light was so fresh, yet he still managed to remain the House we know and love somehow. A true testament to Hugh Laurie. All the other guest roles were amazingly acted as well, with Lin-Manuel Miranda as House’s energetic roommate standing out to me. I just felt the two had a great dynamic with each other and loved seeing them on screen as a duo. It’s a character I was sad to say goodbye to (we know House has got to leave the psychiatric hospital, so no spoilers there) because I’d really like to see him again.

Again, the episode isn’t just about House talking about his feelings, there’s a lot of subplots involved that each came to their own great conclusion but ultimately served the greater idea of getting House better at the same time. I loved that there was never a dull moment with all these colourful characters and their roles in House’s recovery being so well written.

If I had to complain about anything, it’s that I actually did find myself missing the other regulars (Foreman, Cameron, Chase, Thirteen ect.), but this is a minor complaint because while I did feel their absence I know there would be little for them to really do and their absence is ultimately better than forcing them into the story.

In conclusion this was a fantastic return to House, it had comedy, heartfelt moments, and as mentioned felt different but was still the same great show at the same time. The last scene with “Seven Day Mile” by The Frames playing got me little teary eyed and eager to see where the season goes now. I already can’t wait to own Season 6 on dvd! WATCH HOUSE!

Coming Soon: Mob bosses, southern vampires, drugs, and Kneel Before Zod!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Plans For Television Fall 2009

The new television season is almost upon us and there are only three shows currently airing which I plan to watch as they come on television. This gave me the idea to actually schedule when I’ll watch other TV series, because for some reason I keep putting them off, even though I WANT to watch them all, and planning ahead will actually increase the odds that I’ll see them.

Monday: *On TV*
House MD – Last season was probably the best, and even more likely my favorite of House. The episode stories were really good and I liked that they delved deeper into the personal lives and beliefs of the characters. The season finale was House’s best yet in my opinion and I’m looking forward to seeing House make his way back to sanity and the effect it will have on his ability to practice medicine.

Heroes – The series that just can’t get with it. I loved the first season, and looking back, minus the S2 cliffhanger, it could’ve ended well with just one year. But Season two was just too boring and took too long to get interesting, while Season 3 started with a lot of potential, but literally wiped it all clean as if it never happened. The only reason I’m tuning into season 4 is curiosity, and Sylar. I didn’t like how they ended the super powered serial killer’s story, but I wanna see where they go with it. That said, I can’t say I’m excited at all for season 4 and might not even stick with it.

Veronica Mars – I started the first season this summer but only got four episodes in before Six Feet Under got me addicted. I’m ready to start up again because unlike my first round with the show back during its initial airing, I actually liked it. Kristen Bell is all kinds of awesome and the main mystery intrigued me enough to get me hooked this time around.

Entourage – Cerdo told me I’d like this show and the Hollywood setting sounds like it could make for some cool stories and guest appearances. Plus, friends have told me with the male camaraderie themes, it’s a guys version of the dreadful and horrendous Sex and the City. I’m intrigued.

The Sopranos – Once again Cerdo is the one who got me interested in this series. His video debating between whether Six Feet Under or The Sopranos was the better show and his comments on how if I liked Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas (which I love) combined with its praise amongst critics and average TV/Film lovers like us and I’m on board!

True Blood – HBO and Alan Ball (the creator of Six Feet Under, on the odd chance you didn’t know). Nuff said. I saw a few episodes of Season one and liked what I saw but never got around to watching the show on a regular basis. It’s time for C-Rav to jump on the bandwagon and see what everyone is raving about…and I’m kinda excited to be honest =).

Weeds – All I know about this show is that it’s about a widowed mother housewife who becomes her neighborhoods weed dealer to make ends meet. Now calm down, I know underneath that synopsis there are probably more subtle themes worthy of exploration and viewing…which is exactly why I’m watching it. The concept alone is intriguing and Cody recommended it…so I really can’t say no!

Psych – I have to thank Kayla and John (Youtube user ActionFan89) for bringing this show to my attention. I’m not sure what I’ll make of it to be perfectly honest, but the footage I’ve seen and what I’ve heard from both reliable people is enough to make me give it a shot.

Friday: *On TV*
Smallville – Kneel Before Zod. What better way to end the week than with The Ville!? Smallville begins its ninth season after a disappointing end to an otherwise stellar eighth season. The Wonder Twins and Zombies have me worried, but Callum Blue as General Zod, Brian Austin Green as Metallo, Green Arrows sidekick Speedy, the Justice Society of America, and most importantly…Clark embracing his Kryptonian side and finally doing the training first mentioned in season 5…that all has me ready and excited for season nine!

Sunday: *On TV*
Dexter – Dexta. Dexter becomes a daddy in season four so seeing the classic storyline of a man trying to balance work and family but with a Dexter (aka serial killer) twist should be awesome stuff, especially with the brilliant writing Dexter has. Top that off with Deb possibly getting close to Dexter’s origins, Lundy’s return, and John Lithgow as the newest serial killer in town….how can you not be excited!?

Six Feet Under – As most of you know, I finished the first three seasons of this utterly amazing series in the first few days of August. Since then my sources have stopped working, so I’ve been forced to take a hiatus on the series much to my chagrin. That said, I’ve recently ordered the complete series and when it arrives, I’ll be spending Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights finishing off the series. Cannot wait!

Conclusion: So there ya go, my plan for the fall 2009 series. Once I’ve finished/caught op on those shows there are plenty more I’d love to see. Any recommendations? Thanks for reading
and I hope you enjoyed!